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Grandfather Mountain is a truly unique hiking experience in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Of four named peaks atop the massif, Calloway Peak claim the title as the highest at 5,946'.
According to Wikipedia, "the mountain boasts 16 distinct ecological communities", including the fragrant and dark southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest.
The hike begins at a parking area at milepost 299.5 of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Some maps reference it as the Boone Fork Parking Area.
A short spur trail leads to the "White Dot" Mountains to Sea Trail, which takes you to the Daniel Boone Scout Trail.
Take a right at the intersection to begin the long, arduous climb up the east side of Grandfather Mountain. The trail follows a ridge as it climbs, but often switchbacks up the steeper areas.
At the junction with Cragway Trail, look for a short spur that leads to an overlook.
Known as Flat Rock View, you'll be rewarded with some good views of the north face of Grandfather mountain. As you continue towards Calloway Peak, the trail will begin to steepen and requires you to climb multiple ladders that navigate steep rocks.
You will also notice several campsites just off the trail.
Should you want to plan an overnight trip, reservations are required and more information can be found [here](https://www.ncparks.gov/grandfather-mountain-state-park/camping). After navigating the most challenging and final portion of the hike, the trail leads onto Calloway Peak.
To the west, you can clearly see the other peaks atop the ridge and to the south, you can see portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
On a clear day, the views into the distant valleys are almost surreal. Note: Parts of the adjacent Nuwati and Cragway Trails have been known to close at times, so an out-and-back on the Daniel Boone Scout Trail is the only way to access Calloway Peak from the east.
As of summer 2019, the Cragway Trail was closed due to storm damage. Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandfather_Mountain